Twenty Things You Can Do and Learn On U.S. Government WebSites

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 24, 2000

Twenty Things You Can Do and Learn
On U.S. Government Web Sites

President Clinton is the first president of the Internet Age, and with the leadership of Vice President Gore has moved the U.S. government on-line. Government web sites make information and services available at the click of a mouse, helping Americans keep in touch with their government and making government work better for people. There are now over 20,000 government web sites -- here are just a few of the more popular ones.

1. Get tips on choosing a health plan, a doctor, a course of treatment, or a long-term care facility from the Department of Health and Human Service's Healthfinder service ( Healthfinder also provides the information on the latest health research, different illnesses, and a host of medical resources designed to help families stay healthy. It served over 4.5 million visitors in 1999.

2. Teachers, parents, and students can access lessons and educational materials on any topic on to the Department of Education's new Gateway to Educational Materials ( The Gateway makes finding materials on the Internet easy by connecting users to over 140 web sites.

3. Start your own business with help from the Small Business Administration (, which offers everything from loans to outreach initiatives for women and minority-owned businesses. The site also provides e-mail counseling and mentoring, online educational courses, and a database of federal, state and private contracts available to small firms.

4. Protect yourself and your children from environmental hazards by finding out about drinking water quality, toxic and air releases, and hazardous waste in your neighborhood by signing on to the Environmental Protection Agency's ( Enviromapper site. You can also find out about water discharge permits and Superfund sites.

5. Need a government statistic? FedStats ( provides the public a single point of entry to 40 Federal statistical programs. Since its inception in May 1997, FedStats has logged over 3.5 million user sessions.

6. Is it possible that you or someone you know may be owed pension benefits without knowing it? The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ( reunites people with missing pensions, and features an online Pension Search Directory that allows you to find benefits that may be owed to you.

7. Learn how to get health insurance for your children through the Children's Health Insurance Program ( CHIP's web page offers state-specific information on who is eligible and how to enroll to make sure children grow up strong and healthy.

8. Begin planning for retirement by computing your estimated Social Security benefits online at the Social Security Administration ( SSA's home page also provides information on obtaining a Social Security number as well as information for employers on reporting earnings.

9. Agencies from across the Federal government joined forces to provide Federal Resources for Academic Excellence (, which makes hundreds of education resources available on the web for teachers, students, or parents. Subjects range from an architectural tour of the National Gallery of Art's East Building to a mutual fund cost calculator from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

10. Buy your first home with help from the Department of Housing and Urban Development ( HUD's web page provides a comprehensive homebuyer's kit, complete with searchable databases of HUD homes for sale, condominiums and developments approved for FHA financing, and HUD approved lenders.

11. With Access America for Students ( -- students can gain information on how to obtain financial aid, pay their student loans, and get career information. This website is part of an initiative announced by Vice President Gore called "Access America."

12. Learn food safety and handling tips, proper cooking temperature for food, and how to test to see if your kitchen is safe from foodborne illness from the Department of Agriculture (

13. Find a fuel-efficient car with help from the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (

14. Kids, parents and coaches can get tips from the U.S. Women's Soccer Team (and other experts) on good reasons not to smoke -- like, not being able to run down the soccer field -- on the Smoke-Free Kids web site (

15. Curious about online trading? Learn how to invest wisely and avoid fraud on the Internet from the Securities and Exchange Commission (

16. Travelers can now check for weather-related delays using the Federal Aviation Administration's web site ( The web site has received almost one million visitors since its launch on April 2000, with the number of visitors doubling every week.

17. Find help after a natural disaster from the Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA's web site provides information on where to find temporary shelters, crisis counseling, or legal counseling. FEMA also provides help in applying for assistance for help in rebuilding your home

18. Find the Veterans' Medical Center nearest you, and find out what benefits you may qualify for, with help from the Department of Veterans' Affairs (

19. Learn about your Medicare benefits, get information about nursing homes in your area, or report suspected Medicare fraud through the Health Care Financing Administration's ( web page. HCFA also provides an on-line version of the Medicare & You 2000 handbook.

20. Learn how you can pay back student loans and volunteer in your community through the Corporation for National Service (

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